LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP)
A professor and former administrator at the University of Montana is among seven candidates vying to become the next president of New Mexico Highlands University. Lois Muir is a professor of psychology and former provost and vice president for academic affairs at UM in Missoula, Mont. The university’s Board of Regents president Javier Gonzales said the candidates will be interviewed by board members next week, then the list will be narrowed. Over the past few years Muir has been a candidate or finalist for numerous academic posts around the country. In March she was abruptly removed from her duties as UM provost after telling a newspaper that she and UM President George Dennison had “fundamental differences” about administration of the university. Along with Muir, the candidates include:
Roland Arriola, vice president for external affairs at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.
James Fries, president emeritus at College of Santa Fe, executive director of Grow Santa Fe Community College Foundation and former interim president at New Mexico Highlands.
Estela Lopez, vice chancellor at Connecticut State University in East Hartford, Conn.
Celestino “Tino” Mendez, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico Highlands.
Joanne Passero, acting provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Leonard Valverde, executive director of the Hispanic Border Leadership Institute and professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
Finalists will be invited to campus during the week of Dec. 4. The regents plan to hire a new president by Dec. 16, according to a news release. The university is looking for a new president because Manny Aragon stepped down in July after two tumultuous years leading the school. Board members said previously they hoped the new president would start work by Jan. 1.